Shamima Begum, the British schoolgirl who left the UK to join Islamic State when she was 15 has declared her intention to return to the UK. She left with two of her friends, but now she has no idea where they are. Begum spoke to BBC News that she never wanted to be an IS “poster girl,” adding that she now wants the UK’s forgiveness.
She supports “some British values,” she says, adding that while it was “wrong” innocent people died in the 2017 Manchester attack, it was “kind of retaliation” for attacks on IS.
She told Sky News she knew about IS executions before she left for Syria, and thinks that people should have sympathy “for everything (she has) been through.” She said she didn’t do anything dangerous and was only a housewife when she went to Syria.
The UK Home Office has also revoked her British citizenship, a decision her lawyer and family say they are going to appeal.
Begum, who is now 19, said she’s prepared to return to the UK having lost her 2 other children and currently living in a camp.
Begum’s parents are originally from Bangladesh and it is not clear if she’s a Bangladesh citizen. Revoking her British citizenship, if she’s not a dual citizen, will be going against international law, but reports say the UK Home Office may have discovered she holds another citizenship.
She said she’s prepared to go to prison or undergo some kind of de-radicalisation programme upon return to the UK.She wants her son to grow up in the UK, she says.
She cannot be tried for fleeing to Syria, however, if prosecutors can prove that she was involved in a crime, then she’ll be sued.